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Questions tagged [tolkiens-legendarium]

For questions about any works in J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium - The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and other works set in the same universe - or about that universe as a whole. Questions about movies, games, or other media set in the same universe should also use this tag. Questions about Tolkien himself or works by him which are not part of the Middle-earth universe should NOT use this tag use [j-r-r-tolkien] instead.

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64
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2answers
11k views

How large was Khazad-dûm?

Khazad-dûm is said the be the largest of the Dwarven kingdoms. In terms of scale how large was it? 40 miles end to end but how many levels? Is there a way to compare it to a modern day city in terms ...
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Do Lord of the Rings or The Silmarillion pass the Bechdel test?

Motivation Let's face it, Tolkien wasn't much of a promoter of women's equality (to say the least). Thus there are no female characters in the Hobbit. the Lord of the Rings certainly has several (...
63
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11answers
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If Galadriel had claimed the One Ring, would Sauron have become her servant, or would have Galadriel become his servant?

This question was inspired by the Andres F answer to another question. In his answer he stated "we are told that if she ever took the One Ring, she would become way more powerful than Sauron ...
63
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Why does Sauron not permit his followers to use his name?

From The Two Towers, chapter 1, "The Departure of Boromir": Upon their shields [the orcs] bore a strange device: a small white hand in the centre of a black field; on the front of their iron helms ...
63
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When Frodo offers her the ring, is Galadriel really tempted, or just making a point?

(Question sparked by discussion on Why does Frodo follow Galadriel and offer her the ring?) When Frodo suggests that Galadriel should take the ring, she appears tempted: she gives a vision of the ...
62
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6answers
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Are there any bad elves in the Lord of the Rings universe?

Is there ever acknowledgement of a bad elf, or even an elf doing a very bad thing (because he is bad)? I've heard that bad elves are orcs and good orcs are elves, or something like that. Similar to ...
62
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4answers
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Why do the Rohirrim apparently find the H-word offensive?

In LOTR: The Two Towers, Gimli and Éomer have the following dialogue: Gimli: Give me your name, Horse-master, and I shall give you mine. Éomer: I would cut off your head, dwarf, if it stood ...
62
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What was the “Watcher in the water”?

In the Fellowship of the Ring, our heroes encounter a creature called "The Watcher in the water" which was guarding the Doors of Durin, the ancient and abandoned entrance to the Mines of Moria. What ...
61
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7answers
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Why didn't Aragorn keep going with the army of the dead?

Why did Aragorn not keep going with the army of the dead and overthrow Mordor and Sauron? As unstoppable as they seem to be in destroying all physical armies without any injuries, taking on Mordor ...
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Was Gimli the last of his race?

In the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, dwarves play a fairly central role: They drive the entire plot of The Hobbit, and much of Fellowship is centered upon Moria, the dwarven stronghold. We see ...
61
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Could Tom Bombadil have defeated Sauron?

There is evidence that Tom Bombadil is unaffected by the One Ring's power and he has magical ways about him that can't be explained. It seems that Tom did not participate actively in the War of the ...
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What was the value of the Shire and everything in it?

We know for a fact — leastways, according to Mithrandir — that a certain corslet of mithril chainmail would be valued more than the Shire and everything in it: ‘What?’ cried Gimli, startled out of ...
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Why would the elves help destroy the One Ring?

In Lord of the Rings, the rings preserve what you desire the most. The Elves have three rings preserving their kind's well-being, as well as preserving Rivendell. If the One Ring is destroyed, and ...
60
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1answer
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Is Sam Gamgee an orphan?

Is Samwise Gamgee, one of the four hobbits in the fellowship, one of the three to be the last bearers of the one ring of power, one of the two hobbits who alone infiltrated mordor and brought the ring ...
60
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Are there any more races in Middle-earth?

Not counting orcs, balrogs, and the like. Are there any more diplomatic races found in the history of Middle-earth? Any singular or group of historical significance? The ones we're obviously aware of:...
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Treebeard: “I always like going South, somehow it feels like going downhill.” - Is it really?

In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002 movie), Treebeard says: I always like going South, somehow it feels like going downhill. Is there a difference in elevation or something that can ...
59
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3answers
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Why do people say that Peter Jackson can not make LOTR/Hobbit sequels?

I was reading a couple of posts on forums where people said that "The Silmarillion" would make a great basis for an action movie, a sequel (or would that be prequel?) to LOTR and Hobbit. But someone ...
59
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6answers
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Why did Frodo start his adventure 17 years after he inherited the One Ring?

I haven't read the books for many years, so I don't remember the exact reasons, but looking at this LOTR Timeline on lotrproject.com, I see that Frodo inherited the Ring on 23 September TA 3001, but ...
59
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10answers
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Why was Gandalf so concerned for Gollum's well-being?

In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf seems to be particularly sensitive to Gollum's wretched state. When explaining his recent activities to Frodo, Gandalf says things like: 'Unless [the evil part of ...
59
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6answers
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What did Smaug eat for 60 years?

From what I understand, Smaug is a beast that must eat other living things to sustain himself. For example, he does not "eat" gold and jewels, he simply admires and covets them. It's implied that he ...
59
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3answers
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Why don't elves have more babies?

Is there a particular reason the elves die off so fast? After the first war against Sauron, I recall the elves being decimated, to the point that they're almost useless army-wise in the trilogy. But I'...
59
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Did Sauron survive?

According to Tolkien himself Sauron had a physical form in the third age: ...in a tale which allows the incarnation of great spirits in a physical and destructible form their power must be far ...
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Why did Gandalf not return to help Frodo and Sam?

It says on lotr.wikia: Gandalf returned as the White Wizard (named anew "Gandalf the White"), and he claimed leadership of the order of Wizards. Gandalf's power and wisdom were greatly increased, ...
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Did Saruman know about the Ents?

When Saruman began fortifying Isengard and cutting down all the trees in the vicinity to fuel his construction, was he totally unaware of the Ents? When they attacked, they made pretty quick work of ...
58
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How many Ents were at the Entmoot?

Whilst rereading The Lord of the Rings, I came to the part with the Ents. Curiously, the book gives the impression that there were many Ents at the Entmoot, or at least far more than the movie would ...
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Was Sauron aware of what Gandalf was?

Is there any evidence that Gandalf's maia origin was known to Sauron. Not many of the elves even knew (Cirdan, Galadriel and Elrond maybe) This quote makes me think not. 'So!' said the Messenger. '...
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Did Sauron give any care to Saruman or was he just a pawn?

Did Sauron make any sort of promise or guarantee to Saruman to gain his fealty? Did Saruman consider himself an equal to Sauron? He seemed to control a reasonable Orc army, but were they actually ...
58
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6answers
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Why didn't Gandalf know what the Palantir was?

In the book The Two Towers, Gandalf is puzzled as to how Saruman had been communicating with Sauron. Grima Wormtongue, rather conveniently, then throws Saruman's Palantir out the window of Orthanc, ...
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What are the revisions in the (Revised Edition) of The Hobbit?

So this past Saturday a group of my friends and I all watched the three The Lord of the Rings extended edition movies in one sitting. That night, I borrowed a copy of The Hobbit, which I've never ...
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What did Aragorn mean when he warned Gandalf about entering Moria?

In The Fellowship of the Ring after failed attempt to go through Caradhras the Company discusses the Moria way. Then Aragorn warns Gandalf of passing through the Moria. 'I will,' said Aragorn ...
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3answers
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Was the Lonely Mountain, where Smaug lived, a volcano?

Was the Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit a volcano? If not, how did the dwarves get enough heat to run the huge forges? I am asking about the books, not the movies.
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Why does Gandalf show such reverence for Galadriel and Elrond?

Particularly in the Hobbit movies, Elrond mentions that Gandalf answers to Galadriel. Though Gandalf is a Maiar, one of Ainur, shouldn't he be regarded as one of the elders one above the Noldor?
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Was Elrond, in Tolkien's opinion, more inherently powerful than Galadriel?

I always thought it was the other way around, but then I read this (Letter 246): "Of the others only Gandalf might be expected to master him – being an emissary of the Powers and a creature of the ...
57
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2answers
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After Gandalf kills the Balrog of Moria, do any more Balrogs remain in Middle-earth?

Is any reference made anywhere in Tolkien's novels about the number of Balrogs in existence after the demise of the Balrog of Moria? Since Balrogs are described as powerful magical entities that even ...
56
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8answers
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Since Boromir wanted the One ring so badly, why didn't he volunteer to take it during the Council of Elrond?

So I'm currently reading through the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time and this question has popped into my head. Boromir clearly desperately wanted the ring, as evidenced by him trying to ...
56
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5answers
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Why didn’t they just take the ring to Valinor?

At the end of ‘The Return of the King’, Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf and others boarded a boat and left Middle-earth for Valinor. Is there any canon explanation why they couldn’t just take the ring there in ...
56
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5answers
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Was Gollum always a hobbit?

Gollum first appears in The Hobbit, as a pitiful creature from whom Bilbo 'steals' the ring. From what I remember, there is no mention of his hobbithood. He's just a unique creature Bilbo finds. ...
56
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2answers
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In The Lord of the Rings, what important background information is contained in the poems?

From Jeff's answer to a separate Lord Of The Rings question: ... the songs and poems give some relatively important background information I don't recall any information that seemed important (as ...
56
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2answers
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Why did Gandalf chase the Balrog down?

From the Fellowship of the Ring: From LotrWikia: Neither he nor the Balrog was killed by the fall, and Gandalf pursued the creature for eight days until they climbed to the peak of Zirakzigil. ...
56
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4answers
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Why did Saruman not kill Gandalf?

Gandalf travels to Orthanc to take advice from Saruman, at which point Saruman reveals himself as a traitor. Why does he then simply imprison Gandalf on top of Orthanc instead of killing him? Clearly ...
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6answers
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Who's older: Treebeard or Tom Bombadil?

Tom Bombadil says this to the hobbits, in reply to the question "who are you?": (...) But you are young and I am old. Eldest, that’s what I am. Mark my words, my friends: Tom was here before the ...
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5answers
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Did Balrogs have their own language?

As seen in the movie, Durin's Bane made rather unpleasant and irritated growls and roars when awoken. During the early stages of the world when the Balrogs weren't in hiding, did they have their own ...
55
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13answers
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Who or what is the oldest sentient being in Tolkien's lore?

The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Histories of Middle Earth, all lore related to this universe is acceptable fodder. Regardless of their power, susceptibility to The One Ring, ...
55
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2answers
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Who is “He that flies” in Lord of the Rings?

In the chapter 7 of book three in Lord of the Rings titled "Helm's Deep", the scout says the following. ‘It is very great,’ said the scout. ‘He that flies counts every foeman twice, yet I have ...
55
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2answers
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Do we know what the 20 Rings of Power look like?

Do we know what the 20 Rings of Power look like? Is there any known descriptions of all the Rings of Power. If not which rings have been described as to what they looked like? The Rings of Power ...
55
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5answers
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How do Hobbits come to be so rich?

Hobbits seem to live a very rich, upper class life in the most peaceful landscape in the Middle Earth. How do Hobbits come to be so rich when they don't seem to be doing any hard work?
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5answers
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Why wasn't Bilbo famous, by the time of LOTR?

(Note: I'm trying to avoid spoilers, as much as possible.) Toward the end of LOTR, we are told that bards have already begun singing the tale of It took the bards roughly a week or two. So, why ...
55
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2answers
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How did Gandalf elude and puzzle Sauron?

In the History of Middle-Earth book collection Myths Transformed we learn a lot about how Sauron perceived the Istari and what he knew of them. Sauron had, in fact been very like Saruman, and so ...
55
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7answers
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Why didn't Sauron find Bilbo when he put on the ring like Frodo?

When Frodo put on the One Ring, both the Nazgul and Sauron himself found Frodo. However when Bilbo had the ring and possibly used it many times, Sauron sought Gollum to get a hint on where to look for ...
55
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1answer
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Was the Stone of Minas Tirith still dangerous after Sauron was destroyed?

In the sad chapter of The Return of the King in which the Fellowship parts for the last time, Pippin says he wishes that they could use Palantiri to keep in touch. Aragorn dismisses this idea: ...